COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WJZ) — Head coach Mark Turgeon and the Maryland men’s basketball team signed 9-year-old Ben Snyder to the program via Team IMPACT, an organization that pairs children facing serious and chronic illnesses with college programs.
The entire team welcomed Ben to the program via Zoom on Christmas Day Friday evening following the Purdue game.READ MORE: Baltimore Artscape Canceled For A Second Year In A Row
At the end of the Zoom, Turgeon surprised Ben with a personalized Maryland basketball jersey.
A native of Alexandria, Virginia, Ben caught a bacterial infection that traveled to his heart and destroyed his aortic valve last December.READ MORE: Man Seriously Injured After Fuel Explosion In Hagerstown
He went through many ups and downs as his body fought to recover from infections and multiple open-heart surgeries.
Ultimately, Ben needed to have a heart transplant. He progressed quickly after the transplant, regaining his strength and mobility.MORE NEWS: Delmar Police Cpl. Keith Heacook Will Be Laid To Rest Monday
On January 9, he will officially be one year post-transplant.